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Getty Center Family Festival

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Getty Center Family Festival

The Getty Center

Rosanne, Joe and I headed up to the Getty Family Festival today (March 31) and had a great time.

I like the Getty Center a lot on any day, but today they had lots of special events happening that made it even better. Unfortunately, the press about this event made it a little more crowded. It wasn't nearly as bad as it was when the museum opened but the line waiting to get into parking garage was a bit intimidating. I almost turned around and went home, but instead I drive by the museum and approached from the North. This got me into the museum with less of a wait.

Even with all the cars, the line for tram to the top was no more than usual. They were running shuttle buses to speed it up even more.

Upon arriving at the central plaza we were greeted by 15 foot tall puppets based on characters in Ensor's painting, Jesus entering Brussels, which is in the Getty collection. The puppets were great fun although they can be a bit intimidating for the little ones. Joe wasn't really frightened, but he didn't know what to think at first. He warmed up to them when they appeared later.

(Adult note: If you are a coffee fiend like I am, stop by the coffee cart on the tramway plaza. It is usually much less busy than the other food establishments. They also have fruit, muffins, soft drinks, etc. for the kiddies. There are also restrooms just beyond the cart. If the center is very busy I recommend stopping here before heading up the steps or elevator to the main plaza.)

Gypsy music met our ears as we entered into the main courtyard. This was just one of the music groups for the day. Joe sat and munched a bagel while other kids ran and danced. Later in the day there was a Klezmer Band that got Joe up on his feet and running great circles around the crowd, along with many other kids.

The Circus X puppet show at the top of the gardens didn't interest Joe much so we went and did crafts instead. One station allowed the kids to make a picture frame from a variety of papers, markers, glitter, etc. Another station let the kids make a city silhouette to put into the frame. Yet another provided rubber stamps and other tools to decorate a Getty postcard which they would then mail for you. Joe's went to Grandma & Grandpa Welch back in Ohio.

We ate a quick & lite lunch from the Garden Cafe. I recommend the cafeteria-style restaurant below the fancy, sit-down on the north side of the complex if you want more choices for lunch. It also has great views to the west if you are there during sunset. The prices are a bit high, but you can easily bring a lunch and make a trip to the Getty a "cheap date", indeed.

The festival continued until 6 PM, but Joe had gone without his morning nap and we all had to drive to Claremont to help our friend, Art Benjamin, celebrate his 40th Birthday. By the time we were down the tram, back to the car and out onto Sepulveda Blvd. Joe was aslee.

Much fun as had by all. I even got to step into a photography exhibit that had just opened while Joe did his crafts with Mommy.

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